AG mayor seeks restraining order on public speaker

October 10, 2014
Mayor Tony Ferrara

Mayor Tony Ferrara


Arroyo Grande City Council members met Wednesday morning to “discuss” hiring a private investigator who  apparently had already started his job, and Mayor Tony Ferrara angrily asked for a restraining order on outspoken critic Otis Page.

According to the agenda, the council was meeting to discuss hiring a private investigator from Ventura to look into a employee scandal and alleged cover-up. However, city employees said the company had already been selected, the private eye was hard at work, and the meeting was a “sham.”

Several city employees said officers who had first-hand knowledge of a recent city government scandal were contacted for interview appointments by Sintra Investigations in the days before the special council meeting, which had only the one item on the agenda.

Sintra Investigations will be looking into the late-night City Hall rendezvous on July 3 between City Manager Steve Adams and a subordinate employee, Teresa McClish, as well as the council’s handling of the issue. The incident was first reported by CalCoastNews on Aug. 19, and since then numerous Arroyo Grande residents have expressed dismay at the response by Mayor Tony Ferrara and his council mates in meetings and in letters to council members.

Ferrara, responding to one resident’s email asking the council to approve an independent investigation, recommended his fellow council members not reply to the resident.

“No need to reply,” Ferrara said in an Aug. 21 email to council members Tim Brown, Jim Guthrie, Joe Costello and Kristen Barneich, and copies to Adams and McClish: “This is an FYI. I wanted you to know where I’m coming from. Not about to take this crap from anyone.”

About 25 citizens attended the rare morning session, many criticizing a “lack of transparency” by city officials, a failure to fire Adams, and the already-completed deal with Sintra.

Resident Page said both the meeting and selection of the investigator was “a sham” as the council had already hired the firm. Ferrara then ordered microphones and public broadcast television cameras to be turned off, and demanded that a police officer escort Page from the council chambers.

A visibly irritated Ferrara asked a nearby police officer if he could “get a restraining order” against the outspoken Page, a police department employee confirmed. Ferrara was then informed that it was unlikely he would be able to secure a restraining order against Page.

Get links to local breaking news, like CalcCoastNews on Facebook.

Emails to Council PRA 09-22-14 by CalCoastNews

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Tony, the AG bylaws clearly state that the Village Idiot cannot ask for a restraining order.

(Sec. ICU-812)


Check out the Tues Nov 14th agenda

First on regular session

Discussion to cancel Nov 11th regular meeting.

Convent right after the election.

I do not care that you scheduled a meeting on Vets Day you dopes

Live with it!

And once again closed session with City Manager evaluation.

Do you suppose the investigation is already completed?

As far as the city council and mayor are concerned the investigation was complete before it ever began.

It is important on Tuesday night that we put the council on notice for not discussing the investigation in closed. One of them will get nervous about breaking the Brown Act.( again) I would hope.

Perhaps the agenda item with Steve is to accept a REAL LETTER of RESIGNATION .

Wish it was from Tony.

I still cannot get over the stupidity of writing that letter to J and M.

He’s sunk alone over his condescending tone and telling the council he’d responded. I bet Tim Brown would not like to be represented that way.

Vote for Tim Brown

We need old Joe to go!

I actually hope they do not accept Mr. Adam’s letter, since it really wasn’t a letter of resignation. They should only accept it if it is amended to have a solid resignation date, at this point some reasonable date not past election day.


My guess is he violated the Brown Act (AGAIN) by sending that email to Tim, Jim, Joe, Kristin, Steve and Theresa. Let’s see, that is 6 out of 6!

Is that a violation?

I spoke with a AGPD officer who said “they’d (meaning the investigator) better allow lots of time for me, I told them I have lots to say”.

Whoa Nellie, this is gonna get good folks!

Why are you going to a convent after the election?

At the next meeting the council members will be performing their favorite song…TONY

You are killing me. I can’t take it.

Mayor Ferrara,

You are a “public servant” and apparently you have forgotten that you serve the people – that is all the people, not just the special interest you have been pandering too for a decade. If you can’t handle the heat then do the citizens a public service and resign. You are now embarking on a path that violates free speech. Apparently, you missed that topic in school. You can resign or the citizens of AG should impeach you.

Be at the rally on Tuesday at 5:15

Wear black

Bring a home mad sign

Be polite

Keep it focused on the MAYOR

Wow! I’m sure J and M were shocked to see their e mails here.

I say go back all 12 years on King Tonys e mails.what do they look like between he and Wallace?

We must stay focused,


His arrogant, sexist, I know better than you attitude must be defeated.

This council can be better without him.

He did not do the right thing by quashing a personal relationship outside of work along time ago, and now he will pay the consequences.

Willnose stated:

If I may interject – for me it is about the cover-up, not what did/didn’t happened between two city employees.

To wit – the mayor waited until the filing deadline passed for anyone else to run against him in November. Like keeping the lid on something that could make him, his management, administration and conduct of department heads, look bad.

This is, as it were, on top of South County Sanitation District investigation, city hall lease, and move, water user education material contract, and similar past dealings of questionable utility.

This is what causes people to question what exactly is going on in city hall, to the city council’s decision making process.


They are trying to cancel the meeting on November 11th be sure to stay fro public meeting on Tuesday

SAVE Otis!

See you at the rally at 5:15!

I appreciate your time and effort to help provide important information to all our citizen voters.

Many voters have been concerned with the disconnect between ” the people, they are sworn to serve in our democratic process”.

The South County Sanitation District, failed bond and tax increase elections, marginalizing citizen participation, extending the Sales Tax Increase, then just poor leadership, all are mobilizing voters.

This election has become a referendum on change.

Citizen Voters need leadership they can Trust, We need Tax and Rate Relief , these are difficult times, Balanced Budgets with existing revenues, and Planning that improves the Quality of all our Lives.


LeAnn asked me a question regarding a posting I had made earlier. Rather than respond directly to it where few people would read it I am responding to it as a new posting where it might be more widely read.

The link to the Grand Jury report that was written about the sanitation district when Tony Ferrara was Chairman is the following. See pages 2 and 21-23 in particular.

The significance of this report related to the current Arroyo Grande fiasco and Tony Ferrara is that a few years ago Mr. Ferrara, in his role as Chairperson of the South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District, hired a former Ventura Police Chief to do an investigation regarding some allegations of misconduct at the district. The Grand Jury had some strong criticism of the resulting report.

What is of concern about this is that Steve Bowman, the owner of the Sintra Group, and Richard Thomas, the investigator hired by Ferrara, worked together in the Ventura police department. In fact, Mr. Thomas as Police Chief appears to have been Mr. Bowman’s boss. How is that for a “coincidence”?

The A.G. City Council has gone to great pains to give the appearance that Ferrara had nothing to do with the selection of the independent investigator. There is good reason for this as Ferrara is to be investigated to determine what if any lead role he might have had in a cover-up. As a minimum this makes one wonder if Ferrara had given some “unofficial input” to the A.G. selection process.

There had already been an informative message about this posted to the Cal Coast message board. I will try and copy it here to my message. But in any case, see the article “Arroyo Grande Council Calls Special Meeting to Hire Investigator”, the message posting by doggin on October 7th.

10/07/2014 at 6:07 pm

A Corrupt Investigation.

These facts are with regards to Ferrara and the AG aboard of cronies new investigation.

In the 2010/2011 San Luis Obispo Co Grand Jury report was released. It focused on allegations of questionable practices at the South SLO Sanitation District, the following was provided.

2010-2011 San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury

Page’s 2 & 3. Google the SSLOCSD grand jury report. The following is verbatim from the report. Keep in mind Ferrara was the Chariman of the SSLOCSD board, in other works in charge of the investigation.

“The Grand Jury also learned that the Board (Ferrara) had hired an investigator to review some of the allegations of misconduct. The investigator’s report indicated he had found the allegations to be false. The Board viewed this as evidence that District operations were quite satisfactory. The Grand Jury’s review of this same investigation determined it had been ineptly performed and the investigator’s conclusions were not substantiated.

The Board’s failure to recognize and eliminate or mitigate the conflict, and the Board’s failure to evaluate, re-bid or modify its contract with the District Administrator for more than 25 years”.

The Investigator hired by Ferrara was Rich Thomas, AKA, Thomas consulting workplace investigations of Ojai Calif. Mr. Thomas himself is a former Chief of police for Ventura, serving for some 30 years. He also has been the interim Pismo Chief of Police as well as serving as interim city manager on the CC. He has a personal relationship with Ferrara, a former law official himself. Not to question Mr. Thomas’s integrity, however when spoon fed only what Ferrara and the AG council want investigators to hear, the investigation is flawed,bias and pointless. Again, refer to the JG’s findings of the investigation.

Now the council has chosen the Sintra Group to perform the Adams investigation. A little back ground on the Sintra Group and Steve Bowman. A Ventura based investigative service. Mr. Bowman a former Ventura Police officer and assistant police chief, serving Ventura for some 28 years. Coincidence perhaps? Id say no, another questionable service at the tax payers cost.

There MUST be NO connection between AG city council, Ferrara, and the investigative source hired to perform this service. This must be stopped before $25,000 of tax payer funds are wasted on a rigged investigation.

Like or Dislike: 20 3


• TheNekkidTruthsays:

10/07/2014 at 8:34 pm

Not only did Rich Thomas investigate allegations of mismanagement of public funds, but what a coincidence….he also investigated allegations of sexual misconduct at the sewer plant as well!

Numerous reports from Sewer Plant Staff complained of inappropriate sexual relations between then Shift Supervisor Scott Mascolo and Lab Tech Devina Douglas. Both of whom were accusing then District Administrator John Wallace of bilking the District of millions of dollars in unneeded and sub-par administration and engineering.

more going on at plant now , makes Adams issue seem small

Just what we all want…

To have sex at a sewage treatment plant.

How romantic!

If he’s not her boss, or she’s not his boss, and their spouses, and kids don’t mind…who are we to mind? But that’s a lot of if’s…

Hi Toadstomper,

Thank you for forwarding me the information you did. I think this needs to be made VERY public. The investigator search was clearly not as vetted as we were told……I am not shocked by this, but I am upset by it because this is just one more example of Tony attempting to run things his way.

It really is time to make some changes to the leadership in our town.

I wish Ray Charles was still alive so that he could attend a Arroyo Grande city council meeting and sing one of great songs for Tony.

It’s crying time again were going to miss you.